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Student Help Group - Legitimate or no?

Started by Emerald Acid, October 20, 2016, 04:24:35 pm

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Emerald Acid

Has anyone heard of this group by chance? I was following a link in regards to the somewhat recent ITT Tech closure, and allegedly qualified for closure forgiveness on the loan. After about a 50 minute call, the end result was putting me on a $0 repayment plan over a 20 year course where the government would slowly pay off the loan due to the school closure, and the fact that I am a $0 income adult with an over $70k student debt is what qualified me for it.

However, after reading through searches, the conversation tripped two of what are apparently the common red flags. Three payments of $199 in order to set-up this process, and they had asked for personal information.

The E-Mails and main website list them as Student Help Group, with the website itself as StudentDebtPortal.com

I'm growing increasingly suspicious that I screwed up and I need to stop any potential damages, but in the slim chance that they are legit and can remove the $70k and growing loan from a school that no longer exists, I need to take it since the loan has basically ruined my future.

Legit, or scam?

swamileoni

Hi EA,

I would get out of the contract before you pay anymore money.  Do some research on the company, you owe it to yourself.  If you feel like you need more answers because you're unclear of what is happening I suggest creating a profile and asking this same question on https://www.reddit.com/r/StudentLoans/.  Your situation is a little different than just loan consolidation.  I will say that the financing program they set you up on, you could do for free.  And it won't cost you $600 a year.  Money that you could be putting towards something more beneficial in your life.

Always talk with your loan servicer for better options that can help fit your needs.

Emerald Acid

Well, the loan servicer doesn't wanna change anything at all. As far as they're concerned, I don't qualify for school closure forgiveness, so they won't budge on making me pay everything back when I really need something to make the government buy it off instead since the school closed.

TheCollegeInvestor

What's your actual situation in relation to the school closure? Just because ITT closed doesn't mean you get forgiveness.

The long answer is there are a few scenarios where you could potentially get loan forgiveness or a refund directly from ITT Tech, but just because there is an investigation doesn't mean anything until it's settled in court after a lawsuit (which is typically a long process).

The ways to potentially get forgiveness include:
1. If you are currently a student at ITT and can no longer enroll because of the freeze, and your credits won't transfer to another school. This is a case for potential student loan discharge. You simply call your lender or login to StudentLoans.gov - however, because they denied your claim, I'm guessing this doesn't apply.

2. If you believe that ITT lied to you or misled you into getting student loans because of false or fake statistics on job placement and salary, you could potentially qualify for a Borrower Defense to Repayment discharge. This is a new and fairly uncommon form of discharge, and you have to prove that you received some type of documented misleading statements from the school or their financial aid office. This is the way that some borrowers from Corinthian Colleges were able to get their loans forgiven, but realize that the CFPB also settled a lawsuit and some students simply received refunds to offset their loans as well (so it wasn't a true forgiveness).

3. You could wait until there is some type of settlement. It might happen, it might not. This isn't loan forgiveness per se, but an actual court settlement.

Emerald Acid

I was originally declined because I had finished the schooling there (graduated in 2011), although the investigations and accusations leading to the closure extend to inefficient financial business conduct while I was enrolled, and even before then.

But it's beyond just the school closing, as the entire ITT school system was closed; every school was shut down nationally, the school was discredited, and the degree I got from there is now completely worthless aside from a pretty piece of paper. So now I'm paying them despite the fact that I no longer have anything gained from them.

JordanC

As soon as a customer service representative tells you you'll be charged to consolidate your loans, to qualify for lower monthly payments or to have them forgiven, hang up and go to studentloans.gov instead.